Cables are a magical thing in knitting. They create texture, draw the eye in and entice even the non-knitter to pick up a set of needles. Cables conjure up cozy nights cuddled by a fire with loved ones. Their intricate twisting is fanciful, but it doesn’t have to twist you up.
A wonderful thing about cables is that even the simple ones can be striking. Sure, you can spend ages making cables twisting left, right and every which way, but a cable can also be uncomplicated and easy.
The same goes for yoga postures. It doesn’t all have to be twisting like a pretzel to get your leg behind your head. There are some simple yoga postures that can help prevent injury and improve your knitting. Let’s say you are working on a new cabled knitting pattern and you notice your hands cramping and shoulders tensing. Taking a break for a few moments to stretch out and reset your body can help. If you’re in a good knitting groove and don’t want to get up, you can even stay seated, just shake out your hands, roll your shoulders back, and then get back to knitting.
But if you need something more, try Eagle Arms. Eagle Arms reminds me of cables — the way your forearms wrap like a cable. But your intertwined arms in eagle pose actually end up releasing the body of tension instead of compressing it like cables do to knitted fabric.
Learning a new technique can be daunting, but remember to take it one step at a time and breathe!
Here is a step-by-step guide for how to try this simple yoga pose:
- For this practice, we are trying out Eagle Arms, so you can stay seated where you are knitting (or working on a computer or reading on your phone). You can also stand if you’ve been sitting for hours. Just make sure you have a tall spine, and you aren’t hunching.
- Shake your hands like you are trying to dry them off because the bathroom ran out of towels. Do a few gentle neck rolls and roll out the shoulders. Take note of your inhales and exhales. Try to maintain a steady, even breath throughout this posture.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Then bring your arms in front of you, cross the right arm over the left, and hug yourself. Walk your hands towards each other along your back and shoulder blades and squeeze, giving yourself a nice big hug. You can stay right here and continue to relax your shoulder blades down your back. So the hands will stay where they were and the shoulder blades should continue to relax away from the ears. This is enough. Just switch sides after five breaths here. Or keep reading to see what’s next.
- Release the hug, but keep your elbows together at chest height and wrap your forearms around each other so they are intertwined and your palms come together.
If that isn’t happening, no worries. You can keep the elbows interlocked and the backs of the forearms pressed together. Continue to breathe steady and release the shoulder blades down the back. Raise your elbows so they are in line with your shoulders and move your hands away from your face. Try to stay with this posture for five breaths.
- Repeat steps 2-4 with the left arm on top this time. Then after five breaths on each side, get back to knitting or working on your computer. Your upper body will thank you for this mid-work break.
ABOUT THE Author: Liza Laird
Liza is a spinner and knitter of wool and a lover of handstands. Liza started knitting at the wee age of 8 and hasn’t stopped since. She received formal yoga training in her early 20s in NYC as a 500 HR Registered Yoga Teacher and an 800 HR Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She taught at studios for nearly a decade in NYC and Boston, including Yoga Works and Harlem Yoga Studio.
Liza leads yoga retreats worldwide in places including Bali, Thailand, Italy, Peru, and locally in Vermont and Texas. She also hosts workshops on yoga and knitting in the eastern United States when she’s not taking care of her husband and daughter, Tom and Isa, or her dog, Cosmo.